THE TOWN centre of Stroud was decorated with a powerful message during this year's White Ribbon Day. 

The town council, spearheaded by the 4 Clocks and Sims Clock initiative, brought attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.

The iconic 4 Clocks, also known as Sims Clock, served as a poignant focal point, adorned with a banner urging the community to unite against gender-based violence.

The addition of a QR code on the banner allowed individuals to make a digital pledge, reinforcing their commitment to never excuse or perpetrate violence against women and girls.

Placing this symbol of solidarity in the heart of the town during the festive Christmas period ensured maximum visibility and impact.

One achievement was the enthusiastic participation of local businesses, with Forest Green Rovers taking a proactive step by not only signing the White Ribbon promise but also starting the process to become a supporter organisation.

Research has consistently demonstrated that workplaces with policies focused on women's protection become more attractive employers for women, contributing to a safer and more inclusive community.

Union Street became a canvas for change, featuring three extra-large street art boards encouraging passers-by to visit for more information.

A Stroud Town Council spokesperson said: "The interactive element of allowing individuals to add their own white ribbons to the street art amplified the sense of community engagement.

"This public display in the town centre sent a resounding message that Stroud stands firm against violence targeting women and girls.

"In addition to visual displays, the event saw the participation of local campaign groups, "This Ends Now" and "Safe Space."

"These groups took the opportunity to explain their important work to attendees, fostering a deeper understanding of the issues at hand.

"Looking ahead, the council plans to expand and make the event even more public next year, inviting organizations to join the movement and contribute to the collective promise against violence.

"Our dedication to White Ribbon Day not only made a powerful statement in the present but also set the stage for future engagement and advocacy.

"By fostering collaboration with businesses, encouraging community participation, and showcasing the work of local campaign groups, Stroud has taken a significant step toward building a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone."